Sheikh Jamal crowned inaugural champions
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club were crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) T20 after they defeated Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club by 24 runs, courtesy of a 44-ball 56 from opener Imtiaz Hossain which helped the side post 157 for seven and defend it successfully in the final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
After electing to bat, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club got off to a very promising start as the two openers -- Fardeen Hasan and Imtiaz -- strung together a 62-run opening stand before the former fell prey to a Manik Khan delivery after scoring 18 off 20 balls. However, the next seven overs did not go according to plan as Sheikh Jamal lost four quick wickets in 6.4 overs, adding only 36 runs. Opener Imtiaz, who looked brilliant at the top, also fell in that period but not before scoring a half-ton.
But a 49-run sixth-wicket partnership between skipper Nurul Hasan and Tanbir Hayder saw Sheikh Jamal post a competitive total before both batsmen were dismissed in the final over of the game. Tanbir hit a 15-ball 31 cameo at the death while Nurul contributed with a valuable 33 runs off 27 balls. All-rounder Forhad Reza was the best bowler for Prime Doleshwar, bagging three wickets for 32 runs in four overs.
In chase of the modest total, Prime Doleshwar had started off brightly, cruising comfortably as the two openers -- Saif Hassan and Mohammad Arafat -- strung together a 55-run opening stand before the latter retired hurt with a hamstring injury in the eighth over of the game and had to leave the field. After that, Prime Doleshwar kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were reeling at 105 for six.
However, Prime Doleshwar skipper Forhad seemed set to stage a dramatic comeback at the death as he played a magnificent late cameo of 45 runs off just 20 balls. But none of the other batsmen could support the skipper and eventually Sheikh Jamal right-arm quick Shahidul Islam scalped the wicket of the dangerous-looking Reza in the final over of the game before also picking up the wicket of Manik Khan. Shahidul finished the game with impressive figures of four for 19. Sheikh Jamal also owed a debt to another youngster -- Minhajul Abedin Afridi -- for their triumph as he returned economical figures of one wicket for 10 runs from his four overs.